Saturday, 16 April 2011

Ventou Victorian Corporate Criterium Series - Round #3. April 16th 2011

The final crit of the three round series, and the final crit for the summer racing season. Today was hosted by Geelong CC at their purpose built tarmac roller-coaster, byo bike and it turns into a criterium course. More right hand turns than I've ever done in my life, 9 or 10 per lap depending on how you count it. Finally an opportunity to wear down the rubber on the right side of our tyres.

Clockwise racing action!

After the first two rounds, it came down to me having to finish within two riders of Tyler Spurrell (Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part), as long as we were within a few places of Luca Giacomin (Kosdown) who was sitting in third in the series individual points table. Spurrell brought in reinforcements this week with Tom Leaper and Matt Davis there to help out.

As a side note, Cykel Events were running the Macquarie Private Wealth Women's Team's Criterium today too. They had 19 entries with less than 2 weeks notice, all from their own event promotion. That is on par with the women's entry list for the NAB Showmans Crit last weekend in Castlemaine (CyclingVictoria Open event). For an event outside of Melbourne, that's not bad at all. Take note CyclingVictoria!

First things first, the prologue. 2.2kms or so, Steve Young (BikeHub) mentioned the fastest times they'd done in the past were around 3:00 with a bit more wind than today, so that was the ballpark to aim for. Thankfully I didn't hear any times before I stared, a few riders set some times below the 3 minute mark. The women were started with with guys, but unlike the proposed Tour of California TT debacle, there was a separate fastest prologue prize envelope for them, with equal money as the guys. As was the case with their crit prize pool too. Cykel Events on the ball with this, good stuff Rob!

I had a good warm up, and a great ride, making it three from three in the prologues, 2:50.470. With Leaper +5.080, Spurrell +8.358. Bloody happy with that given how different this course was to what we normally race on... did I mention the right hand turns?... The only thing I can compare it to is ripping the Eastern Freeway 'shared path' at full gas with all the tight twists and turns. The prologues are what sparked my interest in the series from the start, so it was nice to nail all three. Today's short pain feast was at an average of 494 Watts (from the PowerTap for those into numbers).

And to the race.... Marked again this week, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere off the front. Leaper, Davis, and Spurrell covering everything. The first few laps were fast enough for a few riders to drop off the back. Spurrell knew where he had to finish to win the series, so was watching my wheel closely. Three riders, Leaper, Giacomin and Young soon went up the road. All teams represented, so no reason to chase. Thinning out the riders between me and Spurrell helped my cause, a lot. Soon there were only four of us in the 'chase' bunch. Tunbridge and I (Kosdown), and Davis and Spurrell (Croydon). Neither of the teams had to chase the break, and nobody did. Tunbridge set the pace on the front, and tried a few attacks to see if we could shake the Croyden boys. Davis always bringing him back. I threw in a number of attacks too but Davis and Spurrell kept shutting it down. The three in the break had the race wrapped up. We'd be battling for 4th.

Doing the math mid-race, if Spurrell was first across the line from our bunch of four, and me last, we'd be equal on series points and I'd get the win on a count-back. So it was a leisurely day at the office, for the most part. I kept throwing in a few attacks, as we were still 'racing'... not that the speed we were doing indicated it. Just as I was about to launch an attack after Davis had chased hard to close down a move by Tunbridge, Tunbridge hit the deck (on Crash Corner!). We sat up to see if he was ok, only bark off, he was soon back on the bike and rolled straight to the front and kept working! His Lycra in tatters, 1/2 an arse cheek showing, missing some skin, and still riding for me, Lins you're a legend!

Towards the end Leaper attacked the break and lapped us, on a 2km course we were lapped! With the pace so low and no chasing, I guess these things happen. Leaper took the win, Giacomin 2nd, Young 3rd. Coming into bell lap, the pace was down, still.... Tunbridge who was dangling off the back after one last attack rejoined and again went straight to the front and set the tempo. Into the last corner I was third wheel, and it'd be a sprint for 4th. Tunbridge lead it out and perfectly positioned himself for me to launch to the line. I'd not gone up against Davis or Spurrell in a sprint, but I manged to hold them both off for 4th. 64km/h sprint and I almost cracked 1500W too, a max power PB, but nothing that'll help me in a TT, and something that'll drop off now we'll be dong long road kms. Davis 5th, Spurrell 6th. In the wash up, Davis' result denied Spurrell getting 2nd in the series, dropping him to 3rd with that one missing point. (He would have taken 2nd on a count-back being equal points with with Giacomin).

Series Individual Points:
1. Shane Miller (Kosdown) 77 points.
2. Luca Giacomin (Kosdown) 74 points.
3. Tyler Spurrell (Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part) 73 points.
4. Jason Laird (Kosdown) 51 points.

Series Team Points:
1. Team Kosdown. 254 points.
2. Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part. 230 points.
3. Boomchika. 164 points.
4. CSIRO. 122 points.

Full rider/team points listing: HERE

A big thanks to the hosting clubs, volunteers, and event sponsors throughout the series - but most importantly to Rob Carsen from Cykel Events who made this series a possibility and a success, at all levels. From turning a number of recreational riders into real racers, through to offering us seasoned racers some very challenging courses. The addition and show of support for the the Macquarie Private Wealth Women's Team's Criterium on such short notice was also fantastic. Whatever the next event Cykel run, I'm a sure starter.

Also the Kosdown boys rate a massive mention. They all did a perfect job riding for me in each race. It was great to see Luca on the podium with a 2nd today after his work for me in the past two races too. And while playing the team roles, they were all still at the pointy end of each race collecting team points for the overall title. Champions!

So that's it. Crit season '10/'11 is done. I've had a pretty good run in the crits over the past few months, had some wins, collected a swag of lunch money, ripped some legs off, had my legs ripped off, kept upright, and had a blast racing against such a range of riders from juniors, masters, ex-pros, and current pros - all who ride just as hard as each other with the only difference being position and luck in a race.

Bring on the road season? We'll see. Tired legs at the moment and its time to drop the pro dream and get back to the reality of IT security and saving a small part of the world from online organised crime again.... which almost sounds exciting at this point in time. Still, there is something still alluring about aiming for and being lucky enough to chalk up some race wins, these can't be forgotten with the flick of a power switch.

The calendar has a few more TTs this season, that'll give me reason to keep turning the pedals.


Prologue MyLaps times: HERE
Leanne Cole Photos: HERE

Random Visual:

This is an epic WTF. A goth baby doll, tied to the front of the truck that delivers flour to Bakers Delight. Who does that? And for the love of God WHY!?

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